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TOWNSEND LABS Sphere L22 £1,399

The Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone aims to replicate an entire mic locker in the box. Mike Hillier explores a new world of tone…

£1,399

Contact Source Distribution | www.sourcedistribution.co.uk 020 8962 5080

We’re nearly at the stage now where, with only a few devices, you can model everything you need for a studio. Guitarists have entire emulation rigs, from modelling guitars to pedals and amps, while keyboard players can quickly bring up any synth they might want in software form. In the studio, we’ve had plug-in emulations of everything from EQs and compressors to tape machines, and even specific rooms or locations.

But until recently, there’s been one limit to this: the microphone. Some attempts at mic modelling have existed before, of course. Antares introduced the concept back in 2000 – and are now on version 5 – and Waves launched The King’s Microphones to coincide with the film The King’s Speech in 2011. Plug-in mic modelling, however, relies on the input signal from whichever microphone you were using, and while the Antares Mic Mod EFX lets you select the mic source in order to try to first uncolour the signal, it cannot recreate what wasn’t there in the first place. If your mic lacks low-end, no amount of modelling will make it sound like a Neumann U 47.

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Imagine some of those iconic cinematic scenes without the music. The scintillating establishing scenes of Blade Runner’s futuristic Los Angeles, Elliot and E.T. soaring past the full moon on their flying bicycle or Luke Skywalker staring up at the twin suns of Tatooine. In our cover feature this month, we present the complete guide to the process from a professional standpoint, with industry advice and even step-by-step guides to try some of the unique creative processes yourself. In addition to our main feature, we also speak with in-demand composer Junkie XL about his work on top-tier blockbusters and commemorate the 20th anniversary of Air’s Moon Safari in this month’s Recording Spotlight. Our expanded tutorial section now (once again!) covers Pro Tools, as well as our usual range of reviews, tips and the second part of our Essential Guide To Plug-In Effects. We hope you enjoy the issue…